January has been a rough month, taxing emotionally, financially, mentally and spiritually. December 31st filled me with promise for an amazing start to 2019 and if I’m being honest, it’s been anything but amazing. Financially, I had some setbacks, that really put me in a bad position and you know how frustrating that can be, right? Then, I found out an old friend of mine had passed away, in the most unexpected and awful way. It rocked me to my core and to be honest I think I’m still in shock. We were such good friends growing up and although we grew apart, I never stopped wondering about her and trying to keep up with her life, because well, that’s what you do when you love someone, it doesn’t fade away. It’s a complicated relationship, but I’ll just say, my heart was and still is broken. The sadness didn’t stop when another friend lost a dear loved one unexpectedly as well. On top of the fact that work was ridiculously stressful and I had to travel, I’ve been feeling really depleted.
I can feel the walls closing in and as they are closing my mind is going to that stinking thinking place filled with insecurity and doubt. Do you ever go down that road? It’s isn’t a fun trip. There are days where I feel absolutely useless. I take two steps forward and twenty steps back, and I want to scream, “God, what is going on?” I cry, uncle! I mean I’m trying here! I’m sure that’s the problem, I’m trying and not surrendering. How hard it is to just let go and let God? Although I know His way is the best way, and that he already knows the obstacles I will face and has it worked out, it’s still not always easy for me to surrender. That’s that pesky human ego side that fights the spirit tooth and nail.
I’ve been digesting the verse in Lamentations because it is a much-needed reminder of the Lord’s never-ending compassion and mercies that are new every morning. January has been a beast, but I can look back and see God’s compassion coming through. Whether it is Him calming my heart and mind, or a friend bailing me out of a tough unexpected financial situation, or help with my child after school, or a meal on the house from a kind person when I was traveling for work, God was present and his hand was in every situation. I didn’t have to do a thing but allow Him to work. He will never allow us to be consumed because His love is so great, so awesome and consuming! God’s love covers us and carries us. I pray that if you are feeling brokenhearted and weak that you read Lamentations and think about God’s mercies in your life…they are present, I promise you. Allow yourself to be consumed by his compassion and not your burdens.
A little while back I dived into Psalms and started to look at the character of God. Do you ever ask yourself who is God? I wanted to share this deep dive with you. I was overwhelmed by what scriptures tell us about God, His character and who He is to us. I hope you are as blessed as I was when I saw the depth of God’s love and provision for us!
Have you settled the matter of your sin? When we say yes to Jesus Christ as our Savior we have settled the matter. Christ paid for our sin debt in full, dying on the cross for every one of our sins, but the question is do we believe that the matter is settled? Or do we continue to live in bondage, shackled to guilt, and shame never fully resting in the blessed assurance of our redemption through Christ? The enemy stalks us with our sin. When we choose to continuously live in the shadows of our sin it distracts us from God’s work. Sin’s hold on you isn’t by mistake, it is a deliberate part of Satan’s plan to keep you distracted, and doubting your faith, and identity in Christ.
Our mind and spirit are in a battle with the enemy and every day we have to ask ourselves,”Who am I in Christ?” “Am I a new creature?” “Do I believe I am forgiven?” It’s one thing to say I am a child of Christ, it is another thing to live as a child of Christ. Jesus loved us enough and deemed us worthy to save us from death, but we must be willing to accept his grace and his forgiveness. Why is it that so many of us spend years living in shame, beating ourselves up and stuck in the past because we refuse to forgive ourselves for our sins?
Yes, we should repent, confess, turn away from sin, and be remorseful, but repeatedly punishing ourselves is useless. When we refuse to forgive ourselves we are saying that Christ’s forgiveness isn’t enough, that his death on the cross doesn’t cut it. There is absolutely nothing in this world you can ever do that Christ’s grace and forgiveness can’t cover.
You can’t live as a new creation if you’re living with an old mindset. You are divinely designed! God’s plans for you are bigger than your sin. Yes, your sin was like scarlet, red as crimson, but the Lord settled the matter, so let it be settled in your heart, mind, and spirit.
I am so incredibly encouraged by our courageous youth! Our kids are so willing to learn, love and change the world and it makes my heart so happy! In my Sunday school class, we’ve been discussing ways to serve, share God’s word and encourage others. I’ve been thinking about doing a project that was meaningful and would help our kids share their faith. I threw a few ideas out last Sunday, and the one they seemed to be super excited about was writing our missionaries to encourage them in their work for God. After further brainstorming, I thought why not connect my kids with the kids living where our missionaries are teaching and create a Pen Pal project! After speaking with contact for missionaries at church who put me in contact with our missionary in Albania it is going to happen!
I can’t wait to see their faces tomorrow when they find out they are going to be Pen Pals with children in Albania! I believe this is going to be a great way for our kids to connect globally with other children. My goal is for them to understand that there are no limits, boundaries, or walls when it comes to sharing their faith! Words have the power to connect, to encourage and to change people and the younger our kids know this and put it into practice the better! If you think a pen pal ministry is something the kids in your church or school would enjoy, free to download this Quick Pen Pal Tip Guide!
I loved deep diving into scripture and I’m teaching my Sunday school students how to deconstruct a verse so that they can get a deeper meaning and apply it to their life. So, I’ll be sharing these handouts I’ve created for my students with you! Feel free to share them with your kids or with anyone who may benefit from them!
I have stepped outside my comfort zone and am teaching Sunday School! I have the pleasure of teaching the sweetest 4th and 5th graders. Can I tell you how much I love this age! I was completely nervous, but I am surprisingly loving this new endeavor! I told the kids I have three goals for this class.
- Learn about God
- Take what they learn and apply to their life outside of the church
- Have fun!
I’ve been praying about how I can teach these kids to start on their own independent faith walk. One of those ways is through journaling, so I bought each of them a journal, which I am so excited to hand out tomorrow. I also want to teach them how to dive deeply into the scriptures through what I call sticky words. These are those keywords in each verse that if we examine closer brings us deeper into the word of God and its meaning. I wanted to share a couple of PDFs that I’m giving the kids tomorrow. Feel free to share them with your kiddos!
Just a favor, please keep me in prayer as I try to step into this new role of Sunday school teacher!
The quickest way to become an ineffective Christian is to keep looking back and living in the past. Remember Lot’s wife? She was told to not look back, to flee, but the temptation to look back on a city that could no longer serve her turned her into a pillar of salt. She was left unable to move or go forward. Don’t allow yourself to meet the same fate as Lot’s wife! Be the salt of the earth by trusting God and resisting the urge to live a life that you’ve shed. Don’t allow your resistance to change to affect who God created you to become! Check out the newest post at my author site.